What Makes us Unique

The IPA, one of the top 25 professional accounting bodies in terms of membership numbers in the world, is an innovative and flexible professional membership body for accountants, having a proud heritage, representing the interests of over 35,000 members in the SME/SMP arena for over 90 years.

The IPA has a seat at more than 120 forums across Australia and overseas, including the Australian Tax Office, Australian Securities and Investments Commission, the Financial Reporting Council, the Treasury and the Australian Stock Exchange. We lodge more than 130 submissions annually with relevant government departments, organisations and stakeholders.

The IPA is one of three professional accounting bodies authorised by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection to assess immigration qualifications assessments for the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) code encompassing occupations of Accountant (General), External Auditor, Management Accountant, Taxation Accountant, Finance Manager and Corporate Treasurer.

The IPA is one of the three members of the Accounting Professional and Ethical Standards Board (APESB).

As of December 2014, the IPA acquired the Institute of Financial Accountants (IFA); a London based membership body representing accountants in the SME/SMP arena. Click here for more information on the IFA.

International recognition

Globally, the IPA represents the interests of members and students across 51 countries with offices in Kuala Lumpur and Beijing.  The IPA has strong global connections through its full membership of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) and through our appointment to the ProfessionalAccountancy Organisation Development Committee with the Confederation of Asian and Pacific Accountants (CAPA).

The acquisition of the IFA will increase recognition of members in the northern hemisphere. 

The IPA provides educational pathways for accounting and finance professionals that are recognised across the globe.

IPA members are qualified

IPA members who complete the IPA Program at Member (MIPA) level hold an internationally recognised professional qualification (Master of Commerce in Public Accounting) that's highly regarded by the accounting profession, academics and the community.  IPA members who have completed the IPA Program have completed studies that meet the requirements for financial services registration, registration as a company auditor and registration as a tax agent.

The IPA is the only professional accounting body to require an accounting qualification or statutory certification for entry (other accounting membership bodies accept members with a qualification that is not specific to accounting).  Associate members of the Institute of Public Accountants (AIPA) must hold a Diploma of Accounting, an Advanced Diploma of Accounting, a University Degree in Accounting, or a statutory registration provided by the Federal Government.

The IPA is recognised in Commonwealth and State law in Australia, and our members can offer a wide range of services; full members of the IPA are recognised by the Australian Government as Qualified Accountants (see ASIC Act and Corporations Act).

IPA members are experienced

IPA members are recognised for their broad understanding of the business environment as well as their practical skills.  More than 65% of IPA members hold key decision-maker roles of Manager and above, including CFO’s, CEO’s, Financial Controllers, Commercial Managers and Finance Managers.  Members of the Institute of Public Accountants (MIPA) have completed three years of relevant professional experience under the direction of a mentor.

Fellows of the Institute of Public Accountants (FIPA) have completed 10 years of relevant mentored experience, five of which must be at a senior level.

IPA members are required to undertake at least 80 hours of continuing professional education over a two year period.  IPA members are updated regularly on ethical, legislative and professional developments and technical issues and keep ahead in the ever-changing world of accounting.

IPA Program (Master of Commerce in Public Accounting)

The IPA provides the highest academic qualification as its professional program of any of the three recognised professional accounting bodies; completion of the IPA program results in the award of a university postgraduate qualification, a Master of Commerce (Public Accounting).  The IPA Program equips members with the skills they need to have a long and prosperous career in the accounting profession.

The IPA Program provides IPA members with a designation and qualification that is recognised anywhere in the world.  The IPA Program is delivered independently through the University of New England's Graduate School of Business, a leading Australian university.  The IPA Program subject content maintains high standards in line with IFAC’s requirement for accounting programs and is designed to meet the needs of innovative accountants.